Charitable giving year-round affair

Another Christmas has come and gone. Thanks to the hard work of a number of groups and individuals in and around Polk County, the holiday was a little more joyous for those less fortunate in our communities.

But Christmastime makes up just a small part of the 365 days on the calendar, and the need for assistance by members of our communities doesn't magically disappear after the holidays at the snap of a finger.

Now, more than ever, the demand exists year-round on a daily basis for local service organizations to help the needy and those struggling to get by due to a recent job loss or other unforeseen situation.

Given the ongoing economic uncertainty and high unemployment locally and across the state, you can be sure that directors and staff members at a number of charitable organizations in the region are thinking today how they wished the season of giving lasted for more than just a few weeks around the Christmas and Thanksgiving seasons.

Just because we do not see that bellringer outside the doors of a local retailer doesn't mean that the Salvation Army doesn't need our donations throughout the year. Area food banks in Dallas and Monmouth-Independence that were swamped with requests for help during the holidays to fill that ever-increasing demand now have mostly empty shelves that need to be restocked with nonperishable items for the next wave of demand - which starts immediately. And the need for warm clothing and blankets to get through what is shaping up to be a long, cold, wet winter continues to grow.

By nature, people seem most charitable during the Christmas holiday season or following a natural disaster. But it shouldn't take a holiday or a catastrophic event to bring out the best in people. The need exists throughout the year.

Please do your part and donate food, clothing or make a monetary contribution to those agencies who help our neighbors. And if you cannot afford to help in those ways, consider a donation of your time. A number of groups are looking for volunteers to help meet their demands. A partial list of local groups, agencies and organizations seeking volunteers appears on Page 3A of this issue of the Itemizer-Observer.

Your help will be greatly appreciated.


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